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How to Get a Job in the Digital Age: 6 Tips for Your Job Search

by South University
January 9, 2019
A photo of two South University physical therapist assistant students.

If it’s been a while since you were last looking for a job, the job hunting process may have changed a little, or a lot. Your social media, LinkedIn profile, online networking, and your comfort with technology like job search sites, an online application, or a Skype interview—these all can impact your job search in the modern age. See what six tips you need to master to help you find a job that’s right for your career goals, interests, and experience.

Tidy up Your Online Presence

Employers pay attention to your online persona, starting with your email address. What does yours say about you? Hopefully only your name. No nicknames, jokes, or birth years; those things shouldn’t be part of your first impression.

A 2017 poll by CareerBuilder also shows that 69% of employers research candidates on search engines, and 54% of employers have found content on social media sites that caused them not to hire a candidate. To see what potential employers will find about you, put your browser in incognito or private mode and search your name. Unless you primarily post about your field, consider making your social media private during your job search. (LinkedIn is the exception; that should stay public.) Even so, your profile pictures may appear, so they shouldn’t be embarrassing or inappropriate.

Make an Impression on LinkedIn

A strong LinkedIn profile goes far in helping you find a job. For starters, a good LinkedIn profile can attract recruiters, meaning you spend less time job hunting. It also reinforces your experience and skills for potential employers visiting your profile.

You can further demonstrate industry interest and knowledge—and attract attention—by engaging with others’ LinkedIn posts, including those from organizations and people you’d like to work for. For your own posts, share relevant articles with brief commentary or reflect on your professional or academic accomplishments, such as a completed capstone project, recent clinical experience, or graduation ceremony.

Apply the Powers of Networking

Networking is perhaps the best way to find a job, and LinkedIn makes connecting with classmates, instructors, colleagues, and university alumni simple. You can even reach out to experienced people in your field to start a conversation and see if they’re willing to offer advice or mentorship.

When job hunting, check LinkedIn for any contacts or university alumni working at the company before you apply. You might have a contact willing to refer you for the job. If a friend of a friend works there, see if they can make an introduction. If you don’t know anyone at the company, you can message the hiring manager after you apply to briefly introduce yourself, express enthusiasm about the position, and reiterate why you would be a good fit.

Put Your Research Skills to Work

In the digital age, there are so many ways to research organizations. Having expansive company insight can both impress hiring managers and tell you whether an organization is truly a good fit for you. First, visit the company website. Explore their blogs, case studies, online downloads, and social media sites. Check Glassdoor rankings, reviews, and salary information. Look for news articles or customer reviews on Google for a perspective from outside the organization.

Using LinkedIn, see who works there now and who previously held the role you want. A little digging might even turn up employee social media posts about the company and their work. This will give you a sense of their employees, the work they do, and their opinions about the company. In an interview or cover letter, you can reference company projects or values that interested you and how your own skills and values align with what you know about the organization.

Get More from Job Search Sites

From LinkedIn Jobs to Google Jobs to Indeed Job Search, you can choose from a ton of job search sites. In addition to standard job posting sites, some sites are built for new graduates (like College Grad, Way Up, and After College). Other job search sites focus on remote jobs (We Work Remotely) or specific industries like technology (Dice). Whatever you use, experiment with different search terms and filters to find the most relevant results. Then, set up a job alert for new job postings that meet your criteria.

Perfect Your Online Communications

Technology and online communication are essential when looking for a job. Many job listings use an online application, and you’ll need to check your email account regularly for messages. Be prompt and professional in all email communications. One way to save time is to create emails you can reuse for sending your resume and for following up after interviews or networking events. (Following up within 24 hours is best.) This way the bulk of your email is already written and all you have to do is customize a few lines and hit send!

Employers may also request a Skype interview (or other video interview) prior to inviting you into the office. Before your Skype interview, test your camera and audio. Other Skype interview tips including choosing a clean, clutter-free area with good lighting and ensuring you won’t be distracted by kids or animals.

Finding the right job starts with getting the right education. Find the right undergraduate or graduate degree program for your career goals at South University today.

by South University
January 9, 2019
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5 Questions to Ask Admissions During Your College Search

by South University
December 21, 2018
A photo of a young man looking at a letter.

When you’re considering going to college, knowing where to start and even what questions to ask can be difficult. It’s normal to be unfamiliar with the college admission process and with what to expect from college courses. Researching college degrees and programs online is a good start, but it can only go so far. You’ll learn the most by talking with college admission staff. When you do, here are 5 questions to ask about the school and program.

  1. How will this program help me achieve my goals?

    After you start your research online, Admissions can help you confirm whether a program’s outcomes actually match your professional goals. Your plan may be to enter an entirely new field or instead to grow in your current career.

    “Education is an influential step in staying competitive while enhancing your knowledge in the field you are in,” says Orlinda Brown, an Enrollment Counselor for South University, Online Programs. “In any career path you choose, you have to put in the work to develop your skills.”

    Whatever your goals, make sure you know the specific skills and abilities the program teaches and the jobs graduates are prepared to pursue. Ask about their alumni’s success and the career planning and job search services offered to students. For some programs, you may even get data on job placement or exam pass rates for recent graduates.

  2. What will my college courses be like?

    Your college courses should be rooted in industry needs. They should teach practical, in-demand skills, with assignments, discussions, and case studies based on the real world. In many careers, employers value hands-on experiences gained through practicums, labs, course projects, or internships. Another important aspect is how much you’ll interact with faculty and how experienced the instructors are in the fields they teach.

    To get a feel for the college culture and courses, plan a visit to tour the campus and meet faculty and staff. If you’re interested in online classes, the school should offer an online demo or virtual classroom tour. At South University, after you are accepted into our online programs, your admissions representative can walk you through an online orientation course to help you get more comfortable and confident with online learning.

  3. How does your admissions process work?

    The college admission team will likely be your first contact with the school. They should be friendly, helpful, and take the time to learn about you. Having one dedicated admissions contact to assist you is best, so that you don’t have to keep repeating your background to different people.

    “I like to build rapport and get to know my potential students before they apply. We chat a bit and I learn what program you are looking for, how it will benefit you, and your 5-year plan,” explains Brown. “This process helps me get you on the right track towards obtaining your career goals.”

    Once admissions helps you select a program and answers your questions, schools typically need a completed college application and proof of prior education. Graduate programs may have more complex admissions requirements. At South University, your admissions representative will guide you in acquiring all required documents, including transcripts, at this stage. “My goal is to make this process as smooth as possible for all of my students,” Brown says.

  4. How will this program fit into my life?

    If convenience and flexibility are important to you, this is a must-ask question. Look for schools that are used to working with students with family and professional commitments. Search for evening and online course options. If you prefer fully online classes, find out whether you’ll be required to attend classes at set times or on your own schedule. For example, our online classes let you login and learn anytime, with 24/7 access to your syllabi, discussions boards, and course content.

    “Because of our asynchronous environment,” says Brown, “school can coexist with your job, family commitments, and other daily responsibilities.” In addition to our fully online programs, many on-campus classes include online components, and students often take both in-person and online courses.

  5. What will the school do to help me succeed as a student?

    This question is key to knowing that your school will support you throughout your academic journey. Listen to see what student services they mention. You want things like library resources, academic advising, tutoring, faculty office hours, financial aid planning, career planning, and job search assistance. At South University, we provide all of these resources as well as assign dedicated staff to assist with everything from the admissions process through to finding and pursuing the right job for you.

Want to learn more about South University?

Explore our programs or contact our admissions team at 1.888.444.3404.

For tips on what to ask about financial aid, stay tuned for our next blog post.

by South University
December 21, 2018
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Where can a pharmacy degree take you?

by South University
December 17, 2018
A photo of two South University physical therapist assistant students.

The role of pharmacists in the healthcare system is evolving to meet the demands of the profession and society. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 60% of pharmacists work in independent or chain pharmacies, while about 25% work in hospital systems. However, a Doctor of Pharmacy degree can also lead to careers you’re less familiar with. Here are some of the other interesting ways you can use your professional pharmacy training.

Nuclear pharmacy

Nuclear pharmacists compound, measure, and deliver the radioactive materials used in diagnostic imaging (MRI, CT, etc.) and other procedures. Preparing radioactive materials is done in specialized containment rooms. The materials are then transported to hospitals and medical offices. Instead of working with patients, nuclear pharmacists interact primarily with healthcare technologists and physicians.

Primary care practice settings

Many clinical pharmacists are now embedded in primary care practice settings. These pharmacists manage the medication therapy for the practice. Embedded clinical pharmacists are more involved in drug therapy initiation and management than pharmacists in other community-based settings.


Government agencies at the local, state, and federal level employ pharmacists in organizations such as the Food & Drug Administration, National Institute of Health, Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Veterans Administration, and even NASA. Pharmacists are also integral to the military.

Within these organizations, a pharmacist may conduct many tasks, including dispensing medications, counseling on medication usage and side effects, managing medication storage and procurement, conducting research, developing drug policies, and reviewing new drug applications.

Long-term care and consulting

Long-term care facilities are places where the elderly or individuals unable to care for themselves receive ongoing care from others. These facilities include nursing homes, mental institutions, correctional institutions, rehabilitation centers, and adult day care centers.

Often working as consultants, pharmacists review the medications of long-term care patients and provide recommendations and information to the other members of the healthcare team. In many cases, pharmacists provide specialized compliance packaging and medication administration training to care givers.

Home health care

Pharmacists who work in home health care serve patients in their home, preparing intravenous medications for people who require such products as antibiotics, parenteral nutrition, pain management, and chemotherapy. These pharmacists may monitor the patient’s reactions and progress and adjust treatment as necessary. In their work, they collaborate with home health nurses, hospice organizations, and social services team members.

Higher education

Working in higher education can also be a rewarding opportunity that allows you to help mentor future pharmacists. Pharmacy faculty teach in the classroom and also serve as preceptors for students completing experiential rotations. These pharmacists conduct research and publish scholarly literature as well.

Pharmaceutical industry

Pharmacists perform vital roles in the development, testing, sales, and marketing of new and existing drugs. They conduct clinical research, educate other professionals, and advise prescribers on the appropriate use of drug products.


Pharmacists have a long history of entrepreneurship. They have developed products and businesses in a variety of industries including soft drinks, software, online and brick and mortar stores, medical devices, and much more. There really is no limit on how you can utilize your professional pharmacy training to create valuable products and services in the marketplace.

Planning Your Pharmacy Career

As you can see, the pharmacy world has a wealth of career opportunities. Even beyond the eight areas, pharmacists may be involved in pharmaceutical benefit management, regulatory affairs, poison control, medical writing, managed care, and more. No matter what your pharmaceutical interests, the right position can be out there for you!

Get started on pursuing your goals with South University’s 3-year accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy program offered at our campuses in Savannah, GA, and Columbia, SC. To speak with an admissions representative, request information or call 1.888.444.3404 today.

by South University
December 17, 2018
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Physical Therapist Assistant Career Overview

by South University
December 11, 2018
A photo of two South University physical therapist assistant students.

Physical therapist assistants apply their skills and knowledge to make a difference in their patient’s lives. It’s a rewarding, rapidly growing career in which you can work with people one-on-one to help them regain movement and manage pain after an injury or illness. To be a physical therapy assistant (sometimes called PTA or PT assistant), you need compassion, communication skills, an interest in anatomy and physiology, and, of course, the proper training. Physical therapist assistants work under the guidance and supervision of physical therapists.

Before deciding if a physical therapy assistant career is right for you, read on to learn about everything from this role’s responsibilities to work hours and settings.

What Does a Physical Therapist Assistant Do?

In a typical day, a physical therapy assistant may see new and repeat patients. All new patients must first meet with a physical therapist. The physical therapist evaluates the patient, determines a treatment plan with short- and long-term goals, and may assign a physical therapy assistant to work with that client.

After meeting with a physical therapist and other healthcare staff to discuss their patients’ needs, a physical therapy assistant may:

  • Treat patients using exercise, traction, electrotherapy, gait and balance training, massage, and other therapeutic interventions
  • Modify treatments to match the client’s abilities and progress
  • Encourage and motivate people during difficult activities
  • Assist patients with movements or exercises, ensuring activities are done safely and correctly
  • Monitor patients before, during, and after therapy, measuring and documenting things like a patients’ range-of-motion or vital signs.

Physical therapy assistants must also educate patients and family members on

  • The purpose and importance of physical therapy interventions
  • How to use devices and equipment, such as wheelchairs, crutches, or orthotics
  • Daily activities and movement outside therapy that can promote rehabilitation success. <.i>

Following a session, the physical therapist assistant reports patient progress to the physical therapist.

What is a Typical Work Day for a Physical Therapist Assistant?

A photo of South University Physical Therapist Assistant students.

Physical therapist assistants generally work full time with set schedules. They primarily work during the day with some evening and weekend hours required to accommodate patients’ schedules. Their work requires stamina, as physical therapist assistants are on their feet most of the day as they set up and put away equipment, assist patients moving between treatment areas, and help people move into required positions.

What Patients Go to Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy can help people of all ages achieve rehabilitation after an injury or change in health status has impacted their mobility or other physical functions. Client conditions are vast and may include:

  • Arthritis
  • Burns
  • Back injuries/pain
  • Balance issues
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Head or brain injuries
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stroke.

Where Do Physical Therapist Assistants Work?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 56% of physical therapy assistants work in the offices or clinics of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists. At 23%, hospitals are the second most common place of work, where a physical therapist assistant might help patients recovering from surgery, illness, or an accident.

Physical therapy assistants may also work in physicians’ offices and for government organizations such as the Veterans Health Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Indian Health Service. In nursing care facilities or skilled nursing facilities, a physical therapy assistant might help the elderly or those in need of intense rehabilitation therapy. Those employed by home healthcare services will treat patients in their homes.

Some physical therapy professionals specialize in a particular area such as sports medicine, school activities, or elder care.

What is the Career Outlook for Physical Therapist Assistants?

An image of a bar graph.

Physical therapy assistant is an in-demand career, expected to grow 31% between 2016 and 2026, with a median annual wage of $57,430 in 2017.

Employment growth in the PTA field will be fueled by the health needs of aging baby boomers, an increase in patients with chronic conditions, and medical and technological developments that increase survival rates among trauma victims and newborns with birth defects. These populations will all likely benefit from physical rehabilitation services.

Prepare for Your Physical Therapist Assistant Career

To enter this growing career, you’ll need to first earn an associate’s degree from an accredited physical therapy assistant program. At South University, our Physical Therapy Assistant programs can be completed in as little as 2 years and can provide you with the chance to gain 600+ hours of hands-on experience working with local physical therapists. After earning your degree, you’ll be prepared to pursue licensure or certification in your state*.

*South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

by South University
December 11, 2018
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Why Choose a Medical Assisting Career

by South University
November 28, 2018
A photo of a woman talking with a healthcare professional, perhaps a medical assistant.

If you're considering pursuing a career in healthcare, medical assisting can allow you to do meaningful work that matters in your community. Medical assistants play an essential role in the day-to-day operations of healthcare facilities and are often among the first and last people a patient sees at a check-up or doctor's appointment. If you are compassionate, detailed-oriented, and are interested in working in the healthcare field, here are four reasons why medical assisting is a great place to start.

Medical assistant employment is growing faster than average.

Medical assistant employment growth follows the general growth of the healthcare industry and the increasing need for support workers at healthcare facilities.

An image of a bar graph.

According to the BLS, employment of medical assistants in the US is expected to increase 29% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the 7% average across all occupations.

By 2026, the BLS projects that 818,400 medical assistants will be employed in the US, compared to the 634,400 medical assistants counted in 2016. Such an increase in demand can provider workers with increased career stability and the knowledge that, no matter where they are in the country, medical assistants will be needed.

Medical assisting is more than just a job. It’s a rewarding healthcare career.

As a medical assistant, you’ll have the chance to contribute directly to patient health and medical care. You may interact often with patients and, with an upbeat attitude and positive demeanor, you can help to keep patients feeling at ease and smiling during a physician’s visit that might otherwise be stressful.

An image of a blue cross representing the medical field.

Medical assistants are valued members of the health care team who support physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals.

As a medical assistant, you'll also be learning a lot about the healthcare field. With experience and continued education, you may find opportunities for advancement into roles like medical office or records manager, healthcare administrator, or other related jobs.

Medical assisting encompasses diverse and engaging responsibilities.

As a medical assistant, you may perform a wide mix of administrative and clinical duties, so that you’re always busy and never bored.

On the administrative side, you might:

  • schedule appointments
  • greet patients
  • update electronics
  • manage health records
  • handle billing and insurance.

Clinical duties can include:

  • recording patient information and history
  • instructing patients on medications
  • checking vital signs
  • preparing blood samples
  • conducting basic lab tests
  • assisting the doctor before and during a patient exam.

In some states, medical assistants may also give patients injections or medications as instructed by the physician.

Many healthcare facilities need medical assistants.

Medical assistants can work in a variety of care facilities.  Most medical assistants have full-time schedules while others have the option to work part-time instead. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2016, physicians’ offices (at 57% of medical assistants), hospitals (at 15%), outpatient care centers (10%) and chiropractors’ offices (4%) were the biggest employers.

If you work in a physician’s or other health care practitioner’s office, you may work a relatively predictable schedule since most clinics and offices open during standard business hours, making it easier for you to plan and schedule time with family and friends.

How to Prepare for Your Medical Assisting Career

At South University, our Associate of Science in Medical Assisting degree program can prepare you with the technical training, interpersonal skills, and medical knowledge needed to begin working as a medical assistant in as little as 2 years. Your program will cover topics such as:

  • Medical terminology
  • Clinical competencies
  • Clinical laboratory competencies
  • Medical office procedures
  • Medical insurance and coding
  • Computers in the medical office
  • Human pathophysiology
  • Business communications
  • Medical assisting certification
  • And more
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South University's medical assisting program curriculum can prepare you well to start your career, and when South University checked in with our 2015 and 2016 Associate of Science in Medical Assisting graduates, 100% reported high satisfaction.*

In addition to hands-on coursework and one-on-one faculty attention, our program includes the opportunity to gain on-site experience and practice performing supervised medical assistant duties in a local medical organization.

Learn more today about South University’s medical assisting program available at our Columbia, Montgomery, and Savannah campuses.

*See program outcomes pages for more details: Columbia, Montgomery, and Savannah.

See for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, alumni success, and other important info.

Note: This post was originally published on August 30, 2017 and was updated with new information in November 2018.

by South University
November 28, 2018
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